MARCH 11--Worldwide sales of semiconductors dropped in January to
$10.01 billion, a decrease of 1.7% from December's $10.18 billion, according to the latest Global Sales Report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; www.semichips.org/home.cfm). "For the past decade, with the exception of 2000, sales have been slightly lower in January because of the semiconductor industry's historical seasonality," noted George Scalise, SIA president. "We expect to see the industry record slow growth for the first quarter of 2002, with sales rising to double-digit growth in the second half of the year."
Sales are typically sluggish in January in the aftermath of strong Christmas purchases of personal computers and consumer electronics. Compared with December 2001, sales in the Americas in January were essentially flat at -0.1% and down 3.1% and 5.4% in Europe and Japan, respectively. In the Asia-Pacific market, now the world's largest, January sales grew 0.4% over last month.
"A number of growth trends in the Asia-Pacific market are positive due to continued outsourcing to contract manufacturers located in the region," said Scalise. "We also are encouraged by the continued rise in prices from the lows recorded early in the fourth quarter in the DRAM market. The growth in microprocessor sales is another indicator of the ongoing strength in the PC market."